A couple nuggets from this afternoon’s interview with E.J. McGuire, director of Central Scouting, out on the hotel terrace:

 

                 ---The “three bloc” of defensemen “could start a run on defensemen in the next couple spots.” I’m thinking he means 6-5 USNDP prospect Derek Forbort will be one of the followers. The recent wave of defensemen, he said, “are bigger, stronger and more ready to play in the NHL soon.”  

 

                   (Just my gut feeling: Brett Connolly won’t be on the board for Rangers at 10, maybe goes 8-9. So there should be two forwards from this group avail for Sather & Co.: Neidereitter, Tarasenko, Johansen, Skinner, Burmistrov.  

 

 

 

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                    Back to McGuire:

 

                  ---“Eight or nine” draftees will be in NHL uniforms on opening night, but some may be returned to junior after the nine-game limit.

 

                  ---The 3rd and fourth rounds will yield many players who will make the NHL, but not next year.

 

                 ---On the lack of a transfer agreement and the rise of the KHL:

                  “It’s the same factor, an inhibiting factor; if you’re a drafting GM and you’ve got to answer to an owner and your guy never plays, you can say, he really deserved to be picked there, and the owner retorts, “Well, how many goals has he scored for my organization?”….If I had Alex Ovechkin recruiting for me, well, that’s different.”

 

                   Teams such as the Rangers, who have had success with Anisimov and Grachev coming to the U.S “do that level of homework” to try and minimize risk

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                 “(Alex) Burmistrov is an incredibly articulate kid…but will he go back to the Barrie Colts and play for junior hockey money or will he be enticed---if he doesn’t make his NHL team---to go to the KHL. That’s common knowledge. It happened to Radulov, it can happen to Burmistrov.”

 

                 ---- Brandon Gormley “will be a rock on which a team’s going to build its defense around.”

 

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              Remember, for real-time news and comments, today, tomorrow and beyond, it's stevezipay@twitter.com

          

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                     Quite taken with the dedication and poise of Emerson Etem, 18, the former roller hockey player from Long Beach, Calif, with whom I hadn’t previously spoken.

                       Etem played with Derek Stepan and David Toews at Shattuck St. Mary’s and at the L.A. hockey club with Beau Bennett, another top prospect.           

                    His older brother Martin, played roller hockey at a YMCA down the street, and Etem played, then began ice skating at age six.

                    For three summers, Monday through Saturday, starting at age 14, he’d roller skate at 6 a.m. about 30 minutes to a train, then a bus, then skate again for a grand total of 2 hours 30 minutes one-way to T.R. Goodman’s Pro Camp training program in Venice, where NHL players such as Chris Chelios, Rob Blake and Sean O’Donnell worked out and even acted as chauffeurs.  “Sometimes they’d drop me off at the train on their way home.”

                   37 goals as a rookie for Medicine Hat, where he'll probably be next season, but he's got good size, speed, and admits he's not a dipsy-doodle guy. "I like to drive down the wing, find spots by the net."

 

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                 The Flames don’t have a pick in the first round, and he's not Taylor or Tyler so the Oilers are out. But if he had a choice, defenseman Mark Pysyk would love to play for Calgary. “That would be cool, close to home (Edmonton), my grandfather was raised there and Jarome Iginla, I really like him,”  he said.